Thursday, March 7, 2013

one hand will wash the other

My new place of residence is way better than the almost-hood, but between me and the Punk Bar of Good Music there is an apartment building housing three recently-released rapists. It is the scarlet letter of the modern age but still it is kind of disconcerting when one wants to go up and see some doom bands on a late night and doesn't want to end up like Mia Zapata especially when the comings and goings in front of said building tend to involve a lot of drugs and sketchy characters in the lobby.

So the other night I was doing homework, one of my friends offered to pick me up to go see Samothrace and some other bands but he ended up working late and I ended up just going to sleep because I'm getting old and I've been up since 4am. By all accounts they were excellent of course but it frustrates me that I have to strategize these things in my activities.
I tend to believe in the whole safety in numbers/good common sense thing and I don't live in too much fear, but I'm way more skittish than I used to be when I'm going it alone, which happens more and more, since I don't want to have to rely on other people to do what I feel like doing. Maybe it's a greater awareness of the surroundings, or those times when I'm walking and I get propositioned or hollered at or intimidated or whatever. Knowing that things do happen in these parts doesn't help.

I was talking about this to a friend of mine last night, about the frustrations of urban life, especially as a single woman. I wish I had more freedom of movement, even though guy friends of mine have gotten mugged and such too, and he told me one of his friends who lives down there got mugged on his front porch after walking home from a show. I guess I do live in the environs of one of the most dangerous cities in the United States, but still! I don't feel like it's a warzone, but there's always that lingering thought in the back of my mind.

Some of my friends are really into feminist theory to deal with these kind of things and I get a little bored with the strawmanning of the usual suspects or screeds about the patriarchy, because the thing that turns me off more is the posturing that I got from overly earnest undergrads or the type of girls who talked about how emancipated they are and within six months were hitched, taking their dude's last name, and getting all twee with their homemaking skills. It doesn't generally address the day-to-day issues at hand and veers into parody all too quickly. Maybe it's the generally contrarian nature of yours truly, or that estrogen heavy gatherings tend to get kind of mean so it's hard for me to have a whole lot of gender solidarity and I just don't always find the same things interesting as a rule.

I guess it's a human problem, and men dominate and injure with their bodies, and women with their words and politic-playing, and instead of taking sides, I just end up adapting as best I can, forming the alliances and friendships with the likeminded souls, seeking peace and solace above, and holding out for the best.

1 comment:

  1. Suit of climate-controlled plate mail. Trust me.